Today I received a request to translate the URIs of the site I was developing. I am not convinced about the suggested approach because it seems to me error prone. Is translating URI paths a common practice or is it a better idea to avoid it?

I know that some piece of the URI may be translated (eg : WordPress lets the post title appear in the URI and if you change the language, the title is translated if a translation exists) but a complete URI translation seems wrong to me.

If my URI is www.example.en/en/contacts/headquarter i can understand that this URI may be also "translated" in www.example.en/it/contacts/sede-centrale because probably there are two "post" with those two title (one in each languages) associated with contacting headquarter.

What is asked to me is to completely translate URI so www.example.en/en/contacts/headquarter will became www.example.en/it/contatti/sede-centrale and that is what I don't understand.

I haven't found any examples of such behavior in other sites. I don't see benefits (a bit of cosmetics of course but nothing more) and it will probably became rapidly costly to maintain. (If the translation turns out to be wrong and is already indexed by spider what would I have to do, setup a 301 redirect?)


The presence of a Human-readable URL affects the ranking of multilingual website in search results.

An Example:



If the translation turns out to be wrong and is already indexed by spider

301 Redirect is a good idea.

  • so basically you are telling me that's a common practice, and even if big sites does not implement it (amazon,microsoft, apple) still worth to use this approach. So i guess probably the big sites don't use it because they don't need so much SEO optimization. Let me know if i have well understand your answer, then i wait few days and if no one add other answers/detail i'll grant you the bounty. Thanks again for help.
    – Skary
    Sep 28 at 8:18
  • You understand quite correctly. Large sites have a strong brand and millions of pages and SEO is automated for them. Small sites have to put in more effort for SEO. Sep 28 at 9:51
  • It is important for you that the English version of the site is in the root directory. www.example.com/contacts/headquarter Sep 28 at 9:55

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